Lola’s Level 1, a Mediterranean restaurant and bar from Sydney hospitality veterans Marco Ambrosino and Manny Spinola, will open overlooking Bondi Beach on 15 October.

The 94-seat venue, split across a bar, dining room and balcony, is on level 1 of the Pacific Building in Bondi Beach and is open from noon to 10pm.

The Lola’s Level 1 kitchen is being led by head chef Paula Pantano, who comes to Lola’s with a background in five-star hotels including Crown Sydney, Mandarin Oriental Group, and Four Seasons. Luca Capecchi, with a career in bars and alcohol, is the venue manager. With a combined 30 years working in restaurants and wine, Louis West (formerly of Bentley Restaurant Group) and Mon Ditbunjong (formerly of Cumulus Inc, City Wine Shop, Dear Saint Elouise and Ragazzi) will be looking after sommelier duties.

The Lola’s Level 1 menu is designed to share and is split into sections – oysters, small plates, off the plancha, larger plates and desserts. There will always be three to four types of oysters on the menu, served natural, with a mignonette or vermouth granita. Dishes from the small plates section include: pan tumaca with hojiblanca extra virgin olive oil, PX balsamic and Iberico; burrata with citrus and basil; and ‘Cantabric’ anchovies with piquillo peppers. The ‘off the plancha’ section of the menu will have not only steaks such as Angus hanger steak with chimichurri and bullhorn pepper, but also spiced lamb skewers with goats curd and pickled cucumber; and octopus with charred eggplant and tahini. Larger plates include a Cez salad with chicken or prawns, and a lasagnetta with white osso bucco ragu and gremolata. Dessert includes a wattleseed ricotta cannoli; and charred pineapple, coconut sorbet, cacao and tepache – perfect for a Bondi summer.

The Lola’s Level 1 drinks program has a strong cocktail focus, showcasing Australian craft spirits, and with inventive spins on classic cocktails including Rosita, two types of Martini’s and a Bloody Mary. The wine list, which includes more than 20 wines by the glass, has a focus on artisanal producers from the Mediterranean, as well as wines from Australian regions. Estrella will also be on pour from ceramic taps.

The moody interior, designed by H&E Architects, features specialty stucco wall finish in custom blue to emulate the ocean; large, mirrored archways adorned with specials and art by Pina Ambrosino. The dining room, with terracotta lamps, dark stained oak chairs, leads directly onto the balcony overlooking Bondi Beach.

Lola’s Level 1 will open on 15 October and be open daily, noon to 10pm.

Lola’s Level 1:  Level 1, 180-186 Campbell Parade, Bondi

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Georgia Dawes

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